New findings in psychology and neuroscience are pushing philosophers to rethink such big questions as the relationship between mind and body, the meaning of free will, just exactly what faith is, the nature of consciousness, and what constitutes happiness. There's some evidence that issues such as free will itself reflect temperament and personality. There's even more evidence that we are terrible at predicting what will make us happy, which is why we have such a hard time finding durable happiness.

Recent posts on Philosophy

What's Wrong in America?

If you are frustrated or angry with what you see wrong in America, you could be part of the solution by simply changing your frame of mind. Learn how.

The Question of Choice

By Alfie Kohn on July 22, 2016 in The Homework Myth
Claims that too much choice isn't good are based on a trivial kind of choosing. Also, beware attempts to hijack the word to legitimize other agendas, such as privatization.

Trump's Republic

A look at what Trump's candidacy tells us about our country, and ourselves.

The Psychology of Temptation

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on July 15, 2016 in A Sideways View
How often are you tempted to commit one of the deadly sins? What do we now think about this very old-fashioned sounding list?

Teaching AI to Think Like Us

Does AI threaten human existence? Perhaps not, but it's complicated.

Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

Shaped significantly by American traditions, interactions between neighbors, marked by reciprocity, speaking out, and live and let live, reflect the democracy of everyday life.

Sex—A Freak of Nature

Sex. What's the origin of this term? What did philosophers have to say about it? Are we scared of it?

As We Wonder: A Heroine's Wisdom for Violent Times

A superheroine gives wisdom: "Don't kill if you can wound, don't wound if you can subdue, don't subdue if you can pacify, and don't raise your hand until you've first extended it."
Harold Lloyd and Wesley Stout, An American Comedy / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

The Perils of Pursuing Pleasure

Is your philosophy of happiness making you unhappy? See why it's important to put pleasure in its place.

To Make Marriage Better, Should We Expect Less?

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on July 05, 2016 in Insight Therapy
The philosopher Alain de Botton has a theory about the malaise of modern marriage and how to fix it. He may be missing the target on both counts.

The Global Declaration of Interdependence

Unless the world finds a way to pull together, it will pull apart.

Why Is Academia So Negative?

By Liz Swan Ph.D. on July 03, 2016 in College Confidential
Is academia wearing you out? Did it start out being fun but now is just sheer tedium?

Is There a Replication Crisis in Experimental Psychology?

Recent worries about the failure to replicate the findings of important studies in experimental psychology may well be unfounded.

Obey the Flower: Lessons Learned From Drawing a Rose

How a practice of drawing roses helped me appreciate the transformative power of beauty.

Love in Outer Space - Or Just in Your Head?

Water worlds? Kelper 62f? Stanislaw Lew’s sci-fi novel "Solaris" gave them a living angry mind. Tarkovsky’s and Steven Soderbergh’s psychological films saw it differently. Why?

Dying to Tell a Good Story

Sometimes meaningful stories are what we really want.

Consciousness and the Modularity of Mind

We can be aware of some mental contents, but others will never enter awareness even though they can affect behavior. What does this cognitive modularity tell us about the brain?

A Day in the Life Without Government

It’s simple really. We need government and government needs us. This "Day in the Life" hypothetical illustrates why.

Evaluating What Matters Most During Dark Moments

Tragic times can lead us to see things in a new light and explore what matters most in life.

The Psychology of Truth: Feeling It

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on June 25, 2016 in Excellent Beauty
Is there anything to truth over and above truthiness? Human psychology seems to say "No!"

The Political Gender Gap: Do Women Care More About Fairness?

One reason women tend to prefer candidates who seem more committed to economic equality and a strong social safety net may be that women are less overconfident about the future.

Scientific Innovation Needs the European Union to Succeed

Scientific innovation doesn’t just happen on its own. It takes stable economies, free societies, and open-minded governments. The European Union is good for that.

That Other Kind of Time Management

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on June 20, 2016 in Ambigamy
More than we notice, we'd like to stop time, to live forever or at least to have our eternal truths live forever.
domeckopol / Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain

What Would a Happiness Potion Do for You?

A wizard wants to grant you happiness but he's not sure what it is. Can we discover what happiness is by figuring out what positive psychology - the science of happiness - studies?

The Decline of Duty

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on June 16, 2016 in How To Do Life
A key reason America is in decline. And you?

You Only Get More of What You Resist—Why?

Jung argued long ago that “what you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.” Today this paradoxical viewpoint is typically shortened to “What you resist persists." . . .

Extremist Imperfections

As social animals we have a natural tendency to push group norms to extremes. But extremism is not perfection.

Work-Life Balance: Luxury or Ethical Necessity?

Are long hours and difficulties unplugging making you a worse person?

The Lure of Beauty

By Rolf Reber Ph.D. on June 12, 2016 in Critical Feeling
That beauty attracts is well known – from people to mathematical proofs. Do we always have to circumvent the lure of beauty?

Muhammad Ali's "Greatest" Lesson

It may be a long time before another Ali comes our way, but we have something to help us tap into the Ali that lives in each of us.